A company that manufactures metal tins and containers, M. C. Packaging (Pte.) Ltd (MCPPL) 2qw charged on July 16, 2020 for two fatal workplace accidents in 2016.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), MCPPL was charged on two counts under section 12(1) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
The first fatal incident occurred on June 16, 2016.
33-year-old Chinese national Wang Meifang was cleaning an empty can palletiser machine when she was caught in between parts of the machine.
She was conveyed to Ng Teng Fong hospital and subsequently succumbed to her injuries on the same day.
MCPPL was charged for failing to do the following:
- Conduct and implement adequate risk assessment for work involving cleaning of a palletiser;
- Implement safe work procedures,
- Installing guards to moving parts of the Palletiser
The other incident on December 26, 2016, was also fatal, involving 53-year-old See Lay Heo, a Singaporean general worker.
A forklift reversed onto her when she was walking across the production area, as the driver failed to check the rearview mirror.
She succumbed to her injuries two days later.
MCPPL is thus charged for failing to do the following:
- Conduct an adequate risk assessment and safe work procedures for forklift-related activities;
- Adequately implement a traffic management plan within the factory.
Investigations also revealed that the company had four to five forklift accidents that occurred from 2015 to 2016, prior to the one that took place in December 2016, but the company did not review their safe work procedure for forklift safety.
Under Section 50(b), any person guilty of an offence under section 12(1) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding S$500,000.
Factory manager charged
MCPPL's former Factory Manager, Hew Poh Leong, was earlier charged on June 25, 2020, on two counts under section 15(1)(b) of the Act for both fatal incidents.
He pleaded guilty on July 16, 2020. Under section 15(4) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act, for contravening section 15(1) of the Act, Hew was liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
According to the Straits Times, Hew was fined S$,1900.
Reasons leading up to the fatal incidents include Hew's failure to ensure the implementation of MCPPL’s safe work procedures in relation to the incident on June 16, 2016.
He also did not escalate a traffic management plan to MCPPL for implementation on December 26, 2016.
Families of workers compensated
In accordance with the Work Injury Compensation Act, the families of both deceased workers have each received compensation of around S$200,000 from the work injury insurer.
Sebastian Tan, MOM's Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate Department, said in a statement released on July 16:
"Control measures such as lock-out tag-out for maintenance of equipment and traffic management plan for forklift operations are basic safety measures that every employer should be aware of. The company failed to put these in place and two lives were lost."
Top image via Ministry of Manpower's Press Release